Sun, surf, sand – what better place to spend 48 hours with your family? The Gold Coast is a magical destination that is world renowned for its beautiful beaches and idyllic natural surrounds. It’s designed with families in mind, with plenty of exciting adventures and memorable experiences to suit any budget.
Here’s our suggestions on how to spend an unforgettable 48 hours for families on the Gold Coast.
After your trip into the Gold Coast with Airtrain, stop at Helensvale to board the G:link tram. You have plenty of transport options including the bus, taxis, or calling an uber – but the G:link tram lets you see the sights before stopping at a range of destinations right in the heart of the Gold Coast.
For your first stop, check out the Broadwater Parklands. You’ll find an amazing park, complete with giant jumping pillow for the kids. Spend the morning walking, playing, and enjoying the scenery. Once you’ve worked up a sweat it’s time for a swim. You might choose to visit the Rockpools. An open-air water playground that’s free to enjoy, your kids will love splashing and playing.
To swim in the sea, next to the park is a patch of calm seawater walled off for safety where the kids can enjoy the water. For a bit more action, check out the massive inflatable obstacle course right next door. There are always lots of displays and exhibitions to check out in the parklands, like a giant inflatable slide, monster machinery, carnivals – check in before you go to see the next exciting display to check out.
The Gold Coast isn’t all about the beaches – the magical Tamborine Rainforests are just a short drive away. Join a tour, or make your own way and explore the many walking tracks. Discover waterfalls, creeks, glow worm caves, and more! You might want to check out the Thunderbird Park for a day of adventure set right into the bushland. High ropes courses, laser skirmish, bird feeding, mini golf – or for an experience with a take-home souvenir, head to the Crystal Mine and let the kids find their own thundereggs. You can stay for some food or even check out the accommodation options if you don’t want to tear the kids away from the fun.
There are plenty of ways to see the city as the sun goes down, and all of them are absolutely captivating. Head up the top of the iconic Q1 tower to the Skypoint Observation Deck – or if you’re extra brave (and the kids are 12+) you might even want to climb it! Or you can make the most of the balmy evening with an enchanting sunset boat cruise. There are so many to choose from with a range of inclusions – from a simple sail to a full buffet dinner. For a low-cost option (perfect with a picnic dinner), check out these beautiful lookout locations.
It’s time to start an exciting day – why not head to one of the Gold Coast’s incredible theme parks. You can choose from Seaworld, Movie World, Wet ‘n Wild, Dreamworld and White Water World, or Paradise Country. The biggest challenge will be fitting it all into one day! The good news is you don’t have to – there are a range of multi-day and multi-park tickets that will save you money and keep the whole family entertained. Stop at the Airtrain desk when you arrive at the airport to chat about tickets and prepurchase them to skip the queue when you get there.
There’s every chance you’ll still be at the park, but if you do decide to leave you should check out one of the incredible experiences that the Gold Coast has to offer. There’s Mini-Putt with a difference – choose from a range of themed courses that make it next level exciting. Experience Infinity in a series of mind-bending rooms. Or why not try flying – at iFly, you can ride the wind and practice your aeronautical tricks as you coast in the air supported only by the giant updrafts.
No trip to the Gold Coast would be complete without a visit to one of the picture-perfect beaches. Head to Surfers Paradise, as you enjoy the last of the sun on the golden sand (or maybe even splashing in the waves)! Get a photo under the iconic Surfers Paradise arched sign, and then walk Cavill Avenue for shops, food, roving entertainment, and all those Surfers souvenirs to help you remember your trip. If you’d prefer somewhere away from the hustle and bustle, there are idyllic beaches and fantastic parks all along the coast – some must-see places are Southport, Main Beach, and The Spit.
Dining with Families
You’ll be absolutely spoiled for choice when it comes to dining options during your 48 hours with the family on the Gold Coast. Check out some of our dining suggestions here. The markets, the laneways and malls, and tourist destinations all have places you can grab a bite. For a true Gold Coast experience, try one of the Surf Clubs – Southport Surf Life Saving Club is a great example with good food and absolutely spectacular beachfront views.
Brisbane and the Gold Coast are connected by an extensive network of trains, buses, and G:link trams. All public transport uses a smart card for travel, or you can purchase a paper ticket.
Short term visitors should check out the go seeQ card, which allows you unlimited travel for 3 or 5 consecutive days on buses, trains, ferries and G:link trams. It also includes 2 Airtrain journeys to/from the Brisbane Airport.
For longer stays, travel like the locals with a go card – just touch on at your station of departure and touch off when you arrive at your destination.
If you’re visiting Brisbane or the Gold Coast and are still stuck for ideas, check out our tips on some must-see destinations in South East Queensland.
48 Hours for Families on the Gold Coast
There’s something for all ages, interests, and abilities on the Gold Coast – not to mention all budgets! Opt for a low-cost getaway that makes the most of the incredible natural surrounds and the public resources, filled with sun and picnics and fun. Or go all-in for a memorable experience with theme parks, helicopter rides, sunset sails and fine dining.
No matter what you choose, your trip is sure to be memorable. Make sure those first memories are of comfort and cleanliness as you travel between the Brisbane Airport and the Gold Coast with Airtrain. Modern, fast, and on time – let us get you to where you need to go. Start your journey well with Airtrain.